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Why SEOs Hate Pandas?

POSTED: March 29th, 2011 | No Comments » 1093269_xmas_season_2

What is Googles’ Panda/Farmer Update?

On February 24th 2011 Google has made a major algorithm update called “The Panda Update“. They do update their algorithm a couple of times per year but most of the times us SEO’s don’t notice the updates because most of the times good sites are not affected by them. Well with “The Panda Update”, Matt Cutts – Google’s head of web spam team has stated that this is “a change that noticeably impacts 11.8% of our queries”.

The update was mainly focused on content farms, duplicated and content scrapped from other sites, but a large number of websites were affected.

Has your website been affected by “The Panda Update”?

Check and see if your website has been affected by this update:Google Analytics Traffic Sources

  1. log into your Google Analytics
  2. click on the traffic sources
  3. click on the search engines and choose non-paid
  4. click on Google to see only the traffic from Google
  5. now compare the month of January with February – select your date range from the drop down at the top
  6. again compare January with March
  7. if February and March show a significant drop then your site has been affected
    You should now hate Pandas too!

Why was your website affected by “Panda”?

Here are a couple of reasons why your website might have been affected:Google Analytics Lowered Traffic

  • Duplicate Content – if you were publishing copied content on your website, or the percentage of uniqueness for your content was low
  • Repeated Content – if you are repeating content over and over again on multiple pages
  • Inappropriate Content – if you had irrelevant content, not niche specific
  • Grammar Errors – unnatural language that does not follow the rules for correct grammar and/or expressions
  • High Bounce Rate – if the amount of visitors that leave your website is higher than 60% (it really depends on the niche, but that’s an average percentage)
  • Time on Site – your visitors spend only a couple of seconds on your site
  • Returning Visitors – your visitors are not returning at all to your website
  • Links - low quality or no links to a high amount of pages on your website
  • Social Media – no exposure through social media, or no mentions in social media of your site

How to get your traffic back after The Panda Update?

  • Original content – if your content is more than 90% original you were on the good side, write original content, niche specific, keyword focused
  • Reconsideration - after making major changes to your site re-submit for reconsideration
  • Redesign - if your site is more than 3 years old, consider a website redesign, use a modern web 2.0 approach
  • Quality Content – improve your contents quality, write pages that are very useful for the users and Google will credit your work
  • Links - do not excessively link out, choose your sources to link out too wisely, pick relevant sources, do not use more than 5 site wide links
  • Clean-up – clean your index, remove the duplicate content pages from your index, redirect them properly afterward
  • Structure - re-work and re-categorize your sites architecture and navigation
  • Brand - start focusing on brand authority, become a leader in your niche, focus on a specific product or service
  • News - spread the word out, focus on press releases and news worthy topics
  • Adds - remove all excessive adds from your site, not recommend having more than 3 adds
  • Blog - if you do not have a blog going , then get one
  • Social Media – create social media profile and start actively participate spreading quality information

Why we don’t really like Pandas :)

  • Pandas are expensive and high maintenance
  • They spend their majority of time doing nothing (eating, sitting, scratching)
  • Are very lazy animals
  • Cant breed well, do you know how expensive it is to breed pandas

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